'The Lowest I've felt in my life after 2018': India's R Ashwin on 'insensitive' comparison with Australia's Nathan Lyon
Who's the better spinner between India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Australia's Nathan Lyon? The debate has been going on for long in cricket. Both the off-spinners have already stacked up numerous plaudits in their esteemed careers so far, but the comparisons between the two continue after every series, especially if it's an India-Australia one.
While Ashwin had a memorable tour to Australia in December/January, Lyon had a forgettable one. The Indian off-spinner picked 12 wickets in 3 Tests, becoming the 4th-highest wicket-taker in the series.
He also troubled Steve Smith throughout the series and got him out thrice. Ashwin also had a key role to play with the bat, as his partnership with Hanuma Vihari saved the 3rd Test for India at SCG.
Lyon, on the other hand, could only muster 9 wickets in 4 Tests, and could not reach the 400-wickets landmark in the series, which many expected him to reach.
Speaking in an interview with The New Indian Express, Ashwin recalled the 2019 Adelaide Test and said that he felt it was "insensitive" that he was compared with Lyon despite India's win.
"There has been a lot of noise about how I am bowling and pitting me against someone like Nathan Lyon. During the previous tour in Adelaide, I picked up six wickets and kept on bowling despite a tear in the abdomen," Ashwin recalled.
"After the match, there was a comparison between us with suggestions of how well Lyon bowled. I felt it was extremely insensitive towards a good performance. That was the lowest I ever felt in my life after Southampton (2018)," he added.
"I feel I have been constantly put under the microscope. I did take it upon myself personally. So rather than me competing against Lyon, I thought I must be competing against Smith. Lyon is a lovely bowler and I have respect for him. But my focus was on something else," Ashwin further said.
In response to another question, Ashwin said that he does not need to do exactly what Lyon and/or England's Moeen Ali are doing. "If Moeen Ali or Nathan Lyon is bowling outside off-stump to a glorious plan and Shane Warne is talking beautifully about it in the commentary box, it doesn't mean I have to do the same thing and wickets will fall. Because he is bowling to Indian batsmen and I'm bowling against English and Aussie batters," he said.
"As far as I'm concerned, I bowl at other team batsmen not at Indian batters. If I have to bowl at Indian batsman then I may try what Ali or Lyon does. And sometimes the comparison between Ali and Lyon and myself, I have taken way too personally and it has hurt me and it will remain a hurt as long as I live," he added.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- India vs England: He upped the ante on home turf as the third Test was played in Ahmedabad, which was also a pink ball Test. Axar was in terrific form as he ended with figures of 6/38 and 5/32 to become the first bowler to pick 11 wickets in a pink ball Test.
- While Rahane said he didn't know about what Steyn had said, he opined that IPL has given a big platform to cricketers over the years.
- Ahead of the fourth and final Test, which starts Thursday, Kohli was once again asked the reason behind Kuldeep's ouster from the D/N Test.
- India vs England: Virat Kohli cited the example of India's tour of New Zealand in early 2020, where they were blanked 0-2, with both Tests finishing inside three days, mentioning that all people could talk about back then was the performance by the batsmen and not the pitch.
- India vs England: Pacer Jasprit Bumrah will not play the fourth Test against England due to personal reasons forcing Virat Kohli to make a forced change in Ahmedabad. Here is India's predicted XI for the fourth Test match against England.
- Check out live score and updates from the third T20I between New Zealand and Australia in Wellington
- Santner has been ruled out of Wednesday's clash after "waking up this morning with a head-cold".
- Punjab Kings will be the Australia all-rounder's fifth IPL team after KKR, DC, SRH and RCB.